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Within the framework of GFSI's new benchmarking process which places an emphasis on transparency, several experienced food safety specialists have been handpicked to execute the benchmarking process under the management of GFSI's Senior Technical Manager.
While GFSI is now looked to as a global leader in food safety advancement across a variety of partnerships and programmes, its benchmarking work remains at the core of what GFSI is all about.

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Moreno Giordani
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Katharine Smithers
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Marc Gehlkopf
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Jackie Pelham
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Anne Farouk
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Susan Ranck

Anne Farouk

Certification Manager, Eurofins

Anne's food industry experience involves work in manufacturing companies as quality manager, food testing laboratories as well as second and third party auditor in certification bodies.

She has been working as a certification manager since 2005. Through this position, Anne became an expert of various food safety standards (i.e., IFS, BRC, SQF, and ISO 22000). As she is also a qualified auditor for Food BRC Food and IFS Food, and a BRC training provider (ATP). Anne supervises auditor’s qualifications and ongoing maintenance in different countries (France, USA, and China). She is taking an active part and coordinating the local CBs working groups which liaise with IFS and BRC.

Anne is also acting as the project leader for the design, development and maintenance of private certification schemes, applicable for food and feed supply chains.

Anne has also occupied the position of quality manager within her CB during 5 years, and was leading the ISO 17065 accreditation programs implementation and was therefore audited on a regular basis by the French (Cofrac) and the North American (ANSI) accreditation bodies.

Anne's specific position within Eurofins Certification gives her a perfect knowledge of the needs, constraints and expectations of manufacturers and auditors in terms of accredited auditing process and of training and qualification compliance programs.

Moreno Giordani

Benchmark leader

Moreno Giordani is a Food Technologist, Food Safety Auditor and Accreditation Assessor.
He graduated from Milan University with a higher degree in Food Science and Technology.
From 1996 to 2001 he worked as Quality Manager at Cooperlat Scarl, one of the biggest Italian dairy groups.

After this, he started his professional activities as a quality and food product consultant and auditor for certification bodies (CMi Certification, NSF UK) and retailers (Carrefour, CONAD, CRAI) In 2004 he began his collaboration with Accredia, the Italian accreditation body, with the role of Lead Assessor for the accreditation of certification bodies in compliance with ISO17021, ISO17065 and ISO17020, especially in the voluntary food safety certification scheme (GFSI recognised certification programme) and the regulatory food product certification scheme (organic, PDO and PGI). He has carried out many assessments in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America.

He is a trainer in the accreditation and certification schemes, especially in the food sector, including food safety training in the EU Twinning Project "Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of the Egyptian Accreditation Council (EGAC)" (2016) and training in “The Food Safety and Food Chain Traceability System”, E-Trace Project-UNIDO, Cairo, Egypt (2004).

Susan Ranck

RS, CFS

Susan Ranck is president of Ranck & Associates, LLC, a full service consulting firm offering animal welfare, food quality and food safety services worldwide. Prior to founding Ranck and Associates in February 2012 Susan worked for 20 years in farm and food manufacturing environments for meat, poultry and bakery/snack companies. She has developed, implemented and managed HACCP plans and Sanitation programs for numerous companies and food platforms including meat, frozen foods, grain mills and bakeries. Susan works extensively with ranches, farms, manufacturing plants, distributors and retailers in development and maintenance of Animal Welfare, HACCP, FSMA and GFSI compliant programs. She also works with the American National Standards Institute and the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand providing assessment evaluations of GFSI accredited certification bodies and auditors.

Susan serves as a lead instructor for Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Foods as well as the Foreign Supplier Verification Program and provides training programs in conjunction with Grocery Manufacturers Association in the areas of food safety and sanitation. Ms. Ranck has a Bachelor of Science degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Agricultural Sciences and a Master of Agriculture degree from Texas A & M University in Poultry Science. She was an inaugural member of the Certified Food Scientist program with the Institute of Food Technologists, holds a Pesticide Control Operator license in the State of Pennsylvania and is a Registered Sanitarian with the State of Texas.

Katharine Smithers

Certification Manager, JAS-ANZ

Katharine has been employed by JAS-ANZ the Australian and New Zealand accreditation body since 2008. She worked initially as a client manger, responsible for managing assessment teams, acting as a lead assessor and as the main contact point for the certification bodies. This encompassed administering the day to day functions of JAS-ANZ accreditation programs. Assisting in the development of accreditation programs, policies and procedures; liaising with interested parties and provide advice regarding JAS-ANZ accreditation programs. Representing JAS-ANZ as required and providing advice on standards, certification, accreditation and quality related issues.
Working now within the Operations department as a Scheme Manager she liaises with and manages a number of schemes, within the JAS-ANZ portfolio, as well as continuing with assessment work.
Before emigrating to Australia, she worked at UKAS specializing in Food Assessing.
Her career originally started within the Food Industry at Associated British Foods Technical center for Research and Development, and then included working within the packaging, cook chill and confectionary industries for fifteen years before working for accreditation bodies.

Jackie Pelham

Director of Food Safety & Quality – International

Jackie Pelham is the Director of Food Safety & Quality – International, a consulting, auditing and training organization providing service primarily to the Food Industry.

Jackie started her career as a Research Scientist for Geelong Hospital in the Microbiology department, moving from there into the food industry.

Over the next twenty years she established a career performing both technical and commercial roles such as National technical, QA, Food Safety/Regulatory, Production, Plant Management, Research and Development, Sales and Business Development. Her employment in industry included working for companies such as Pillsbury, Smuckers, General Mills, Bunge and Jorgenson Waring Foods.

After leaving industry, Jackie worked for nearly eleven years with JAS-ANZ, the Accreditation Body for Australia and New Zealand first as a Client Manager (managing the relationships and assessment work with many Certification/Inspection Bodies over the years), then later as the Sector Manager for Food and Primary Industry. During this time, Jackie worked in over twelve countries including the USA, UK and across Asia, enjoying the cultural diversity this work brought. It was from here she started her own business, Food Safety & Quality - International.

Jackie has a Bachelor of Science with Honours, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Marketing and a Certificate of Performing Arts, majoring in music.

Outside of work, Jackie enjoys exploring her passion for growing organic fruit and vegetables and involvement in local community services and charities.

Recently she was appointed as one of six GFSI Benchmark Leaders and looks forward to working with GFSI, the CPOs (scheme owners) and other stakeholders.

Marc Gehlkopf

Food Engineer

Marc is a sixty-year-old food engineer with significant experience in the food industry. He was Head Manager of the Consultancy and Training Department of a major French Inspection Organisation for 14 years before becoming an independent consultant in 2001. For Marc, training is one of the best ways to share his significant and practical experience on food safety management, assessment, and auditing. He has been an ATP since February 2004 and is qualified for ISO 22000. He is also BRC global food standard Third Part Auditor for Certification bodies as Afnor Certification, and assessor for French Accreditation Body.